Following a hard-fought match against Nashville SC last weekend, Bethlehem Steel FC returns to La Salle University’s McCarthy Stadium to host Saint Louis FC on Saturday, June 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Tickets are available here, with the match set to be broadcast on ESPN+.
Defense – Saint Louis FC’s defense has been stellar this year. In total they’ve only given up eight goals in 2019, only giving up more than one goal in three of their 12 matches. The club has pitched seven shutouts so far this year and will be very difficult to break down on the road.
U.S. Open Cup – Although they picked up a lot of confidence in their win over the Chicago Fire, Saint Louis’ U.S. Open Cup schedule plays into the hands of the Steel. Winning and advancing last Tuesday means that Saint Louis will either have to play this upcoming Tuesday or Wednesday. With plenty of time left in the regular season, the visitors will surely want to give the Open Cup everything they have and may be at less than full strength against Brendan Burke’s men.
Players to watch
Russell Cicerone, ST – Cicerone is a key part of Saint Louis’ offense. While not necessarily a powerful attack, the visitors do enough to maintain a positive goal differential (+5) for themselves. Cicerone is one of the club’s leading goal scorers in 2019 (three goals), has taken the most shots (12) and shots on goal (seven), and has also scored two game-winning goals for the Missouri side in 2019.
Albert Dikwa, ST – Dikwa is definitely someone to worry about, even when Steel FC has the ball. As a forward, he’s someone that can take you down and prevent you from countering. Not only has he committed the most fouls (14) of any Saint Louis player, but he commits all of them without taking any cards. Steel will hope that he’s being saved for the Open Cup, because he could cause issues.
Jake Fenlason, GK – Fenlason is a wall. The goalkeeper has only given up eight goals all year and currently holds a 0.67 goals-against average. Even if you get through the visitors’ stingy defense, it’s just as difficult to stick the ball past Fenlason.
Anthony Pulis – Anthony Pulis is entering his second season in charge of Saint Louis FC after guiding the club to their first ever postseason in 2018 with an overall record of 14-9-11 which saw the team finish 8th in the USL Western Conference. Saint Louis FC boasted a 10-2-5 home record during the 2018 season with 23 goals scored and only 11 conceded. Pulis joined Saint Louis FC after managing Orlando City B for two seasons with a combined 19-23-20 record, including reaching the playoffs in the club’s first season in the USL. Despite not qualifying for the playoffs in 2017, he led the team to a 12-game unbeaten stretch during the season.
With Saint Louis picking up the win over Chicago in the Open Cup, this one is going to be a fight. Join us at La Salle University’s McCarthy Stadium on Saturday, June 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Tickets are available here, with the match streaming on ESPN+.